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Replacement Front Brake Master Cylinder & Pads


2and3cylinders
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I abhor the amount of effort and lack of feel and bite of the front brakes.  I now have over 9,000 miles since this July on my 2015 but early on I had to vacuum flush and bleed the front brakes, because before that I intermittently would pull the brake lever and it would come back to the grip with 0 braking effect.  Luckily, a second pull would restore the otherwise mediocre braking but it was scary, stupid and wrong for a brand new bike.
 
I presume different front brake pads* would provide better initial bite but I want more lever travel and feel.  Currently, like all the FZ/FJ-09 and FZ-07 I've checked, my FJ-09 requires much too much lever effort with only about 15 mm lever travel for the sorry amount of non-linear braking force provided with associated poor feel.  Now I also presume better tires (the PR4 are the obvious choice well known by me on other motorbikes but I'm probably going to try the Stones T30) but I have to think a non-radial master cylinder with a smaller bore or radial MC off another Yamaha (or whatever) would significantly improve things.
 
 
I'll check the FZ-09 forum but has anyone tried another MC as well as well as pads on our FJ-09???  Also, what brake lines have you tried?
 
*Addendum:  Along with braided stainless steel or Kevlar brake lines.
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I assume the flush/bleed cured your initial problem, if not then rebuilding the MC would probably be called for.
 
You seem to won't opposing things - more initial bite but also more lever travel with slower bite. Braided stainless lines will take you in the other direction, with less travel because the lines won't expand under pressure. Are you using the stock stock lever? If so then a shorty lever might be better for you because it will give less leverage, though with less travel at the tip.
 
Personally, I don't think the front brake setup is that bad.
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My Triumph Tiger 1050 was similar. I switched to EBC HH brake pads. The difference was noticeable. I also installed a radial MC from another Triumph model. The MC helped, but no as much as the pads.
 
My Triumph had ABS, similar to the FJ 09. Looking at the brake lines, it's not a simple replacement because the lines go into a splitter or something as part of the ABS. Do replacement lines take this into account?
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There have been a few folks with FZ09's that have "Upgraded" to MC's from R6 or R1's. They are radial, have larger pistons, so more feel with less effort as a design.
 
The ABS will work, as long as your not taking it out of the system. And I would not give up ABS for anything like the minimal feel change due to different lines.
 
Pads make a difference. But the larger piston/radial design of the R1/R6 MC will make a much larger difference from what I've read. (And it makes sense from a design side too.)
 
 
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@2and3cylinders What motorcycle/s did you or do ride other that the FJ-09? I've had 3 other bikes; a 2005 Ninja 500R, a 2008 FZ6, a 2008 Versys... I feel that the FJ's brakes are on par or better than all of these previous bikes. I'm not saying that your opinion is wrong or that you aren't feeling what you describe. I'm just wondering what your reference point is...

'15 FJ-09 w/ lots of extras...

Fayetteville, GA, USA

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Hmmm... I too think you are asking for opposing things.
I've only had my FJ me for about 600 miles and feel that the bite is too much too quick. I'm going with short levers to see if that helps my issue. The too much I will either adjust to or try different pads. Through the 80's and 90's I was always putting braided steel front brake lines on for more better feel so far I don't think this bike for me needs that modification.
YMMV
 

Brick
2015 Yamaha FJ-09 "Red Molly"
2014 Yamaha Super Tenere' ES
1999 Suzuki SV650

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I've owned many, many motorbikes since 1973, have wrenched semi-pro and raced for several years. In other words I know what the best brake systems are like and know what I want.Good initial bite does not exclude sensitivity, and lever effort is a key to being comfortable modulating braking force. A shorter lever would only increase lever effort though shorten lever travel. BTW, I have adjustable reach and length levers (and due to the lack of travel I leave the brake lever adjusted for minimum reach; i.e., closest to hand grip and I wear size 11 gloves!) that also pivot up in a fall (but protected by my KTM hand guards. Master cylinder piston size to caliper piston size (area), pivot ratios, radial versus linear MC piston activation, etc are all factors that must be considered. Braided stainless or Kevlar sheathed Teflon hose lines mostly eliminate hose expansion from the equation. HH+ pads (versus I believe the OEM GG) will improve bite and could effect sensitivity. Bottom line IMO the FJ/FZ-09 brakes lack feel, have too little lever travel making precise modulation difficult and require much to much pull effort, and braking force is not linear to lever travel.
 
A smaller master cylinder bore would help things and the lack of clearance with the hand guards may preclude use of a radial type MC. Installation of better brake hoses and HH+ pads is also essential IMO.
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I know what you mean about EBC and Dunlopads are nice, and only have tried Brembo OEM rather than AM pads.  But as I said, I do not think a radial MC will fit withing the KTM hand guards, and the OEM hand guards are even less spacious.
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Just changed out my stock front pads for Galfer 1054 semi-metalics. They have very nice bite and are not hard on the rotors (according to Galfer). Tried some HH one time on a Moto Guzzi and although they stopped well, they were very hard on the rotors, started noticing wear very quickly so won't go that route again.
SoCal
2015 FJ-09 Red of course :)
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Just changed out my stock front pads for Galfer 1054 semi-metalics. They have very nice bite and are not hard on the rotors (according to Galfer). Tried some HH one time on a Moto Guzzi and although they stopped well, they were very hard on the rotors, started noticing wear very quickly so won't go that route again.
The OEM and Galfer 1054  pads both are rated GG.  Did you abrade (i.e., with Red Scotchbrite pad) and clean (with 91% isopropyl alchohol) your rotors first and what bed-in procedure did you follow (there is the 50 ~ 60 mile easy does it versus 3 sets of 10 hard stops with no-touch brake cool-down cycles in between)?  Overall, is the bite harder than OEM and how is feel compared?
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I know what you mean about EBC and Dunlopads are nice, and only tried rembo OEM rather than AM pads.  But as I said, I do not think a radial MC will fit withing the KTM hand guards, and the OEM hand guards are even less spacious.
I was just looking at my KTM 950 SM the other night. It has KTM handguards and a Brembo radial MC. There were no clearance issues.  I have a Nissin radial MC left over from a Triumph Sprint that I will do a test fit to see what if any clearance issues exist.. 
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I know what you mean about EBC and Dunlopads are nice, and only tried rembo OEM rather than AM pads.  But as I said, I do not think a radial MC will fit withing the KTM hand guards, and the OEM hand guards are even less spacious.
I was just looking at my KTM 950 SM the other night. It has KTM handguards and a Brembo radial MC. There were no clearance issues.  I have a Nissin radial MC left over from a Triumph Sprint that I will do a test fit to see what if any clearance issues exist.. 

Cool, let us know.  I have the KTM Adventure hand guards recommended in the below and I believe another forum thread  
http://fj-09.org/thread/1646/fitted-any-alternative-hand-guards
 
I measured the radial MC from a R6 recommended and extensively used by FZ-09 forum members but it seemed it projected too far forward to fit?
 
I believe the FJ-09 linear MC is 16 mm and thought about trying the 14 mm MC off my VTR.
 
I'm going to contact Rob at Stoltec Moto who is heavy into and sells on the FZ-09 forum and sells a MC  reservoir kit for the R6 conversion (see below but not necessarily page  11 which just how far I've gotten reading the thread)
 
http://www.fz09.org/forum/10-fz-09-builds/412-stoltec-project-bike-gonna-long-thread-11.html
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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If you haven’t done so already, you could use some rubber bands or twine to apply the front brake while sitting in the garage between rides.
I use this from time to time with my dirt bike when it starts to feel mushy. Generally it works to bring back the desired feel to the lever.
 
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